$48 Million Investment in Public Transportation System’s Frontline Operations & Street Improvement Projects
Additional Funding to SFMTA Budget to Improve On Time Performance, Reliability & Cleanliness, Hire 244 New Drivers & Operations Staff, Move City Toward its Vision Zero Goals & Move Muni Forward
Mayor Edwin M. Lee and members of the Board of Supervisors announced a number of important investments in San Francisco’s transportation network including an additional $48.1 million in funding in San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA)’s Fiscal Year 2015-16 proposed budget. The proposed SFMTA budget adds hiring for 244 frontline positions with more than half of the positions are bus and train drivers and the remaining are mechanics, janitors and cleaning crews. The new investment will improve operations, maintenance and cleanliness and help launch the most significant series of service improvements in decades.
“Our investment in our City’s public transportation system is an investment that will make Muni more reliable, safer, cleaner, easier to maintain, and ready to meet the demands of a growing City and growing ridership,” said Mayor Lee. “San Francisco voters approved investments in transportation infrastructure without raising property tax rates, and we will improve Muni and make it easier to move around our City by bus, by car, by bicycle and on foot. With more than 700,000 boardings a day, our riders deserve a 21st Century transportation experience with improved service and less crowding by moving Muni forward.”
“I understand the skepticism, but I’ve never accepted the idea that fixing Muni is impossible. We can do it; we are doing it,” said Board President London Breed. “A reliable Muni needs the support of the voters, wise management, commitment from the Mayor and Board of Supervisors, and more resources – all of which we now have.”
“As our City grows, we must invest aggressively in improving transit reliability and capacity,” said Supervisor Scott Wiener, who authored Proposition B last November, which tied transit funding to population growth. “Mayor Lee’s budget proposal for MTA takes us in exactly the right direction of prioritizing Muni and ensuring that we have a modern, efficient transit system for our city and our region.”
“Mayor Lee’s leadership is allowing the city to strengthen investment in Muni and the overall transportation network,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin. “Support from the Mayor, Board of Supervisors, and SFMTA Board is vital to keeping our roads safe, reliable and as functional as possible for so many people travelling in San Francisco.”
The Fiscal Year 2015-16 proposed SFMTA budget will add $48.1 million in service increases, new capital investments, purchase of buses and trains, and bicycle and pedestrian safety enhancements. Last year, San Francisco voters demonstrated their understanding of the need to invest in transportation by passing Propositions A and B, which dedicate bond funds and additional annual funding for improvements to Muni and the City’s transportation network, in addition to previously-planned Muni service increases and vehicle procurement.
The result is the SFMTA’s first-ever $1 billion operating budget. This historic investment in the City’s transportation network will improve transit performance and reliability. The SFMTA operates the nation’s eighth largest public transit system, with over 700,000 average daily boardings on 75 transit lines in every City neighborhood.
The Fiscal Year 2015-16 proposed budget adds 244 new positions that directly affect operations and maintenance, with over half of these positions for new transit operators. In addition to 171 new transit operators and supervisors, the budget increases support staff by 73, including mechanics, maintenance technicians, bodywork specialists, and cleaning crew members to increase vehicle cleaning intervals, remove graffiti and tagging in a timely manner, and maintain the quality of the SFMTA’s fleet. The new staff supports Muni’s most significant service improvements in decades, aimed at increasing service frequency, simplifying the Muni network, and making system navigation easier for customers.
The proposed budget also includes significant investments in capital improvements; including nearly $26 million for purchase of new hybrid buses and light rail vehicles, and $5.9 million in street and pedestrian safety projects. An additional $16.7 million in fees generated by new development will be used to fund more projects to improve neighborhood livability and implement transportation upgrades across San Francisco, specifically in the Eastern Neighborhoods, Market Octavia, and Visitacion Valley.
The SFMTA is also making progress on the ambitious goals set by the Mayor’s Transportation Task Force 2030. As a result of 2014’s Proposition A, the City will supplement the capital investments made in its operating budget by issuing $66 million in general obligation bonds, which will fund critical infrastructure projects identified by the 2030 Task Force. Highlights include $6.1 million in pedestrian safety projects focused on high injury corridors across the City which will help move the City closer to its Vision Zero goal of eliminating all traffic fatalities by 2024, $7.8 million for CalTrain modernization, $8.5 million for Market Street improvements, and $43.6 million for 14 Muni Forward-related infrastructure projects to make the system faster and more efficient.
Muni Forward brings together multiple projects and planning efforts underway to create a faster, safer, and more comfortable experience for Muni customers. These service increases represent the first major evaluation of San Francisco’s mass transit system in three decades, and will redirect public resources where they are needed most. The initiative incorporates service changes that better reflect today’s travel patterns as well as capital projects that improve reliability and reduce travel times. The changes, some major and some minor, seek to reduce crowding, improve reliability, and enhance system-wide neighborhood connectivity and access to regional transit through new routes, expanded limited-stop service, and schedule adjustments. The multi-year Transit Effectiveness Project, which received environmental approval in spring 2014, is the foundation of the Muni Forward improvements. Additional improvements will arrive in fall 2015 and winter 2016. For more information, go to: www.muniforward.com.